A study of product identity : its practice in Chinese manufacturers

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

A study of product identity : its practice in Chinese manufacturers

 

Author: Chen, Jie.
Title: A study of product identity : its practice in Chinese manufacturers
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
New products -- China
Product management -- China
Department: School of Design
Pages: 202 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2165695
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5433
Abstract: Driven by the growth of economy, Chinese manufacturers are seeking to create more value through original design. Product identity has emerged as a significant strategy for product design and development in terms of branding. This thesis begins by offering an overview of the current Chinese product design and analyses the major difficulties that are widely perceived. While the experience of more developed economies is used for comparison, it is shown that there exist many issues that are linked to the Chinese cultural and historical situation, as well as to the circumstances of rapid economic growth, where there is unmet demand for skilled and experienced designers. The utility of clearly defining product identity in Chinese settings is suggested. Then it turns to define the nature of product identity and sets it in relation to various corporate strategies for product development as seen from the viewpoints of academic researchers and practitioners. Product identity development strategy is described in relation to different market positions -dependent, traditional, responsive and pioneering. Product identity life cycle is used to understand how product identity is established, develops, matures, (or declines) and how it is a matter to which innovation can be applied.
Case studies form the core of this thesis and it is from these that an understanding of the Chinese situation has been elaborated. Through these, it is asserted that product identity as practiced in China can also be seen to occur in stages that are related to corporate development and product development strategy. Stages of product identity in Chinese manufacturing are identified through an analysis of recent strategies undertaken by mobile phone manufacturers. This group of case studies also reveal that a 'star product' is often the most effective and best understood way for Chinese manufacturers shift to a higher PI stage. Another further set of case studies offer insights about the ways in which PI is used to develop different kinds of products (ranging from consumer goods to capital goods) in relation to different markets (domestic and global). Three detailed case studies are used to show how product identity is initially built, then maintained and developed, and sometimes turn to for innovations. These case studies also demonstrate how it is created through the interactions of managers, internal design departments and external consultants. In the course of these discussions, an integrated PI development approach is proposed and further discussion is offered regarding the character for PI's in particular contexts. This thesis concludes with a discussion of directions in which product identity could evolve so as to provide greater value to Chinese manufacturers.

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